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HSBC Selects Petra Financial for Payments Reference Data

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HSBC has selected Petra Financial as a partner to provide a new tool that will allow the bank’s clients to validate BIC and IBAN details before the submission of a payment or, if required, to derive these details from a bank name, address and Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN), subject to counterparty verification. The tool, which is available to corporate clients either on a CD or online, has been dubbed Global Payments Directory BIC and IBAN.

The bank hopes that the tool will help its clients simplify cross border euro denominated payments and reduce repair fees, thus meeting the requirements of SEPA. It also claims that the solution will minimise the risk of payment delays or rejections.

Paul Nixon, senior product manager, financial institutions, global payments and cash management, Europe, HSBC Bank, explains: “The introduction of new standards in Europe has had an impact on many of our clients worldwide. For a variety of reasons, it has proved difficult for many of our financial institution and corporate clients to get hold of the information needed to complete a payment in accordance with the new standards. By teaming up with Petra Financial, we have been able to come up with a way of making it easier for our clients to achieve significantly higher STP levels.”

John Burton, marketing director for Petra Financial, says that the vendor and the bank have been discussing the project for four months. The vendor, which launched at last year’s Sibos, has been offering the tool online and it is the first time that it has been available on CD.

“We have signed nine clients to the Vortex service over the last year,” says Burton. “It is available in an online format or we can run it via a software as a service model.”
Europe is the focus of the vendor’s efforts in this space at the moment, he explains, as SEPA is driving banks to invest in the entity data space for payments validations. Petra Financial is also pushing its services in Asia, South Africa and the Middle East, but these markets require a different approach, according to Burton. “Europe tends to look at investments in this space as a method of reducing costs but Asia in particular looks at it as a method of improving customer service,” he says.

The vendor does have plans to expand into the US in the long term but this will not be in the near future, Burton concludes.

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